The history of Pride Month
By: Nicholas Ratcliff
The month of June in the United States represents a time in which we celebrate one of our historically disenfranchised groups, as a way to honor all of those who have suffered in the past and celebrate those who a part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community today.
According to the library of congress, Pride Month originally started as Pride Day and was typically celebrated on the last Sunday of June in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. A year later on June 28of 1970, the LGBTQ community united on the streets of New York to hold the first official pride march.
Fast forward to today, and Pride Day has officially become Pride Month where cities and towns across the United States celebrate the LGBTQ community with a variety of events including parades, picnics, workshops and concerts which attracted millions of people from around the world.
Even though the LGBTQ community has gained a lot of support in recent decades, however, this does not mean their struggles have been erased completely.
According to Emily VanKirk, a Student Development Specialist for the Diversity and Inclusion Division of Tarleton State University, members of the LGBTQ community are still being marginalized today.
“There has been a lot of progress in terms of legal protections for LGBTQ folks,” Vankirk said. “However, people still get harassed and attacked violently for being visibly queer. This especially affects folks in our community with multiple marginalized identities, like trans women of color.”
VanKirk backs these claims with data provided by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) website which says, “In 2020 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the US, the majority of which were Black and Latinx transgender women.”
Even with the growing support that the LGBTQ community is starting to receive, there are still members of this community who are being attacked based on their way of life. This is why VanKirk feels it is important to go out and celebrate Pride Month.
Several ways to do this VanKirk says is by, “Attending local celebrations, engaging with media about pride and its history, supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses, donating to LGBTQ+ serving charities and by learning about LGBTQ history in general.”
For those looking to learn more about pride history, VanKirk recommend these resources, https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/, https://www.glaad.org/publications/pridekit and https://www.them.us/story/the-complete-history-of-pride